If a sperm donor is going to play a role in your pregnancy, the first step to finding the ideal donor is picking out the perfect sperm bank. The sperm bank you choose will not only connect you with a donor, but they will provide a wide range of additional services throughout this process. Because banks vary widely in their level of quality, I’ve put together a list of the six most important characteristics that you need to look for during your search:
You want a bank that’s been accredited by the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB). Visit the AATB’s site to ensure a bank is actually accredited and isn’t just using marketing lingo like “exceeds all current AATB guidelines.”
It’s important to choose a sperm bank that has a proven track record. Ideally, you’ll choose one that has been in operation for two or more decades. By choosing an established bank, you can ensure that they can provide you with the best selection of resources, staff and options available.
An ideal bank is one that’s owned and operated by at least one physician. In many cases, you’ll find that banks are owned and run by a pair or group of physicians. Any of these scenarios are a good sign for you. The reason that you want doctors involved at an operational level is because their focus is going to be on providing patients with the best quality of care possible. That means the decisions they make aren’t only influenced by their bottom line.
Genetic counselors play a major role in screening potential donors. They also work extensively with people just like you. Because of everything that they bring to the table, find out if the bank you’re considering hires full-time counselors. If they don’t, you should cross them off your list of potential options.
Find out what percentage of donor applicants are actually accepted. Although five percent may seem low, ideally you’ll choose a bank that only accepts one to two percent of the men who apply to be donors. The reason that an extremely low percentage is good is because it shows that the bank has stringent guidelines and a very strict screening process.
Another number you’ll definitely want to know is how many vials a bank collects from each donor. By choosing a bank that bases this number on a target of less than thirty worldwide family units, you can ensure that you feel completely positive about your decision and experience.
Although it’s easy to fall prey to paralysis by analysis when you’re looking for a sperm bank, as long as you keep these characteristics in mind, you’ll be able to find a bank that’s the perfect fit for your specific situation and needs.